The photo above shows team members, from left to right, Nick Streibick, Isaac Beal, Jake Essig and Derek Garde.
Four friends are going the distance this spring to make a difference in one Ohio community.
Two Huntington University students, Jake Essig and Isaac Beal, along with their friends, Derek Garde and Nick Streibick, will be dribbling soccer balls from Monroe, Ohio, to Toledo — a full 250-mile trip — to raise money for the homeless in Toledo.
“The four of us decided that we wanted to go on a trip that would stretch us as people and strengthen our friendship,” Essig said. “As we thought about what kind of trip that would look like, we decided that we want to make an impact in a community.”
The four will be raising money for LifeLine Toledo to help bring awareness to the impoverished areas of this northwest Ohio city. LifeLine works in the community to provide needs to the homeless, such as a mobile medical unit, planting house churches and building community through meals and fellowship.
The trip will begin on May 20 in Monroe, a suburb of Cincinnati, and then continue north along Highway 127. They plan to go 15 miles per day and finish by June 15. In the end, they hope to raise $10,000 for those in need.
“All four of us are college athletes so we are banking on that to get us through this trip,” said Essig, a soccer player at HU. “We understand that this will be a grueling trip at times, but our hearts and minds will stay focused on why we are doing such a trip.”
Essig, a junior at HU, Garde, a sophomore at the University of Cincinnati, and Streibick, a sophomore at Asbury University, have all been best friends since a young age. Beal, a senior and a soccer player at HU, came to be good friends with the group through Essig. With a shared love for soccer, the four devised “Dribble 4 Toledo” as a spring missions project.
“We wanted to add dribbling a soccer ball into the mix because that is what has brought us together from the start,” Beal said. “Sports are the perfect platform for ministry, especially soccer. Soccer is a universal game. It is the game of mankind. It connects people of all races, religions, backgrounds and passions.”
The team is asking for donations, support and any other participation that people are willing to offer.
“The people are the change and the key part of this radical transforming mission,” Essig said. “We are just the hands and feet.”
Donations for “Dribble 4 Toledo” may be sent to LifeLine Toledo, PO Box 20097, Toledo, OH 43610. All checks should be made out to LifeLine Toledo with “Dribble 4 Toledo” in the memo line.